White House hosts parties while warning governors of holiday coronavirus threat


Trump's coronavirus task force told states that the 'COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high.'

The White House coronavirus task force this week issued its most dire warnings yet to states about the COVID-19 pandemic, saying that the "COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high," and that public health officials should go around their state and local government leaders if needed to warn the public about the risks, CNN reported.

Yet despite the urgent warnings, Donald Trump has already begun to host holiday parties at the White House, including the first on Tuesday night in which maskless revelers could be heard coughing, according to video from the event obtained by Politico.

It's the latest instance in which Trump is ignoring the dangers of the virus to hold what could be another superspreader event at the White House.

Already, at least two White House events have been virus superspreaders: the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett as Trump's Supreme Court pick, as well as Trump's election night party.

Last week, the White House said it was pressing forward with holiday parties this year despite the virus risk.

But now they are doing so even as Trump's own virus task force warned this week that the virus is at its most dangerous level yet, with the task force saying that a "post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall."

"It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health; you should have groceries and medications delivered," the task force wrote in their report to states, according to CNN.

The task force also said that anyone under the age of 40 who gathered with people outside of their immediate families should assume they got the virus, and to avoid anyone who is at heightened risk of getting the virus.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked on Wednesday why the White House would host indoor holiday parties despite the warnings.

McEnany claimed that the White House was taking precautions, like having "smaller guest lists" and that the White House was offering masks for guests — though it doesn't appear guests are wearing them, according to Politico's report.

"If you can loot businesses, burn down burnings, engage in protest, you can also go to a Christmas party," McEnany said.

The task force's warnings come as hospitals are quickly filling up.

Nearly 100,000 people are hospitalized with the virus across the country, a 32% increase from two weeks ago, according to data from the New York Times.

On Tuesday, another 2,607 people died from the virus, the highest single-day increase since May 6, according to the Times' data.

To date, 270,630 people have died in the United States from the virus.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.